Please read the message below from HSLDA.
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
As you know, Family Protection Ministries (FPM) recently went through the greatest legislative threat to homeschool freedoms in the history of California. However, as a result of their advocacy, expertise, negotiation skills (and divine intervention on behalf of the homeschool movement), FPM’s Nathan Pierce and Roy Hanson were successful in leading the opposition to AB 2756 and AB 2926—which resulted in the defeat of both bills!
The bills would have:
- Required local fire marshals to annually inspect the homes of all homeschoolers who had filed a private school affidavit;
- Required the collection of data from the affidavit to identify the nature of each homeschool and provide this information to the public;
- Required the state superintendent of public instruction to form a commission to study homeschooling in California and around the country for the purpose of recommending further regulations.
Prepared to Respond
The bills were introduced in the Assembly on February 16—an event which FPM had anticipated and prepared for.
FPM responded with their first of five critical and timely alerts on February 19 to activate the homeschooling community with a clear explanation of the threat and decisive action to be taken. Then they began to personally contact members of the Assembly, pointing out the fallacy of this attempt to further regulate homeschooling, all the while urging the leadership coalition to adopt the same strategy and goals.
This may have been the most important thing they did, and it was all behind the scenes. It was critical that the statewide organizations spoke with a united voice on defeating this legislation.
They kept us informed of the twists and turns that the bills took on the way to a vote on April 25, with continuing alerts which mobilized the homeschool community to oppose the bills with letters, emails, personal visits, and phone calls.
At the Capitol
They encouraged us to show up for the hearing, and upwards of 3,000 came to the Capitol. About 1,300 testified before the Assembly Education Committee, voicing opposition to a modified bill which would have required homeschoolers to provide additional information to the government, which then could have been made public. Additionally, their efforts were critical in getting the more dangerous of the two bills, AB 2926, pulled from committee, which prevented it from being voted upon in the full Assembly.
Nathan led off the testimony against the bill, and three hours later, the final homeschooler had said, “Vote no on AB 2756.” When the chairman asked for a motion to approve the bill, there was a deafening silence. No member of the committee would make the motion; so, the chairman declared AB 2756 dead. Because of the three-hour delay in calling for a motion, Nathan was the only person on our side left in the room at the time. He quickly communicated the good news and the celebration began!
For three straight months, Nathan and Roy devoted extremely long and strenuous hours in the effort to defeat these bills. It consumed their time, resulting in fatigue and even sickness that made it difficult to go on, but they persevered.
A History of Advocacy
Let me share some of the legislation that FPM has fought and defeated on your behalf since their beginning in 1986.
- A bill that would have made homeschooling impossible for most through the private school exemption by requiring an enrollment of ten or more.
- Legislation that would have required the home-based private school to be open to the public.
- Legislation that would have imposed a daytime curfew for all homeschooled students for the entire state.
- Legislation that would have made homeschooled parents and children subject to Family Court jurisdiction and investigation for allegations of neglect.
- Legislation that would have required all family members to submit to a personal public health screening every three years, from birth to death.
- Legislation that would have required homeschoolers’ homes to be subject to annual bathroom inspections.
- Legislation that would have rewritten the education code with the probability that homeschooling would have been written out of the private school exemption, thereby making homeschooling illegal as we know it today.
- Legislation that would have required all homeschooling parents to submit to fingerprints and background checks.
Let’s look at some legislation they are responsible for getting passed on your behalf:
- After the personal beliefs exemption was taken away from parents, FPM got language introduced into law that excludes home-based private school students from immunization requirements.
- Social workers investigating claims of abuse/neglect against parents now must advise the parents/guardians of the allegations upon first contact.
- CPS investigators, police, and others who are impacted by the Fourth Amendment, must receive periodic training on the true meaning of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment which requires searches and seizures to be accompanied by a warrant with limited exceptions.
Since the defeat of the bills in April, the homeschool community in California has expressed much appreciation for FPM’s efforts. FPM also received HSLDA’s Chris Klicka Award in recognition of preserving homeschooling freedom in California. Not only were they especially recognized because of this dramatic recent victory, but because of the 32 years of defending and advancing homeschooling and parental rights in California.
Here Is My Appeal
We, the homeschooling community, need to make generous donations to FPM on a regular basis. Due to the efforts they expended in defeating the dangerous legislation in April, their resources have been depleted and are not sufficient to sustain the organization’s current operations. And, going forward, they must add to their staff, as the workload is too much for Roy and Nathan alone.
You might be saying, “But the battle is over, we can relax.” Not so fast. They must continue to monitor all legislation that impacts home and family freedoms, and this is a monumental task in California. More bills are introduced in California than in the U.S. Congress. Their full-time work is needed all year. They must continue to visit the various legislative offices to maintain the relationships that made it possible to stop these two bills. Why? Because the opposition is not going to go away. Further efforts will be made to add new restrictions to homeschoolers in California.
It is imperative that we all participate in supporting FPM. They are solely supported by your donations—the homeschooling community. They have led the way in defeating the greatest legislative threats to homeschooling freedom in California since I became involved in defending families in 1981.
Please make checks payable to FPM, addressed to: FPM, P.O. Box 730, Lincoln, CA 95648, or donate by credit card online. Your gifts are tax-deductible.
Thank you in anticipation of your support for YOUR legislative representatives in Sacramento.